I Can See!
“…the eyes of your heart (spirit man) being enlightened…” Ephesians 1:18
I just had one of those amazing epiphany moments this morning, appreciating afresh how brilliant our God is. Actually, the word “amazing” is as lacking in the ability to define these types of experiences, as “wet” is lacking the ability to describe sitting at the bottom of the ocean floor!
The following thought I had in prayer today resulted in another "I get it now!" moment. I love those by the way...when in an instant, enigmas you may have had for years are answered and you walk away saying "I knew there had to be a legitimate reason for that!" Everything God does has an end game. No random. And I know you will get as blessed as I am as we have our following discussion. All of us will relate to this...guaranteed!
Is There Anybody Out There?
Most of us know it can be so frustrating at times…ahh let’s be honest…much of the time… trying to develop a relationship with Someone you can’t see or feel. We wonder if anything is really happening while we are talking, praying, pleading…or all the above! It’s easy at times to be convinced that we’re just speaking into thin air. We’re not by the way, but it sure can seem that way!
Yet in the genius of God, those times of seemingly nothing being accomplished is exactly as it should be; and the brilliance of why this is becomes more wondrous as you consider it!
Let's start by considering this. Doesn’t the very act itself of just taking a chance in a God you cannot see, show there is at least an ember of faith in His reality? Would this not be evidence to both yourself AND God, that somewhere in your heart you know "something more" is out there. Or at least the odds are enough…ok…maybe the pressure too…to gamble on His reality?
Well here’s the key.
I can tell you why this is and how it is just as it should be. Having "dark night of the soul" experiences or seasons isn’t a random test of your faith. As a result of our spiritual inheritance from Adam and Eve, there are by necessity means we must go through, including these horrendous times of uncertainty. I am about to argue that what you are tempted to think may be a waste of time as you seemingly seek God to no avail, is actually the very process by necessity you are going to work through to encounter God with eternal experience and impressions.
The good news is:
THE INABILITY TO SEE AND EXPERIENCE THE THINGS OF GOD WITH MORE REALITY THAN THE ARTICLE YOU ARE READING RIGHT NOW...IS TEMPORARY!
Wax On...Wax Off
Does the phrase “Wax on…wax off, Daniel-son” from the movie "The Karate Kid" mean anything to you?
Mr. Miyagi continually had Daniel doing what appeared to be meaningless projects around his house. From waxing his car to sanding wood to painting fences. He had him doing the same motions over and over. Mr. Miyagi was getting a new car and a new house...Daniel was getting both sore and majorly frustrated!
Then Daniel had his epiphany!
Mr. Miyagi graphically demonstrated that every one of those seemingly worthless and monotonous motions was building form and muscle that in actuality was the very karate Daniel was desiring to learn! What appeared to be useless activity, was building the very things he needed to be an expert in the martial arts! He was temporarily blind to "martial art realities" until the situation arose when there was a demand placed upon him. At that very moment it became clear that there was always a plan and purpose...though temporarily hidden...and that skills he couldn't imagine at the time had powerfully been formed within him!
In the same way, God is Mr. Miyagi…we are Daniel LaRusso. And there is always a lesson behind the lesson. Though you may not understand what God is doing...you ARE learning spiritual realities and developing spiritual skills that eventually you will reap marvelously from.
In other words:
The aptitude you are developing as you seek Him Whom at first glance there may appear to be no evidence that He is even there; will produce the very skills that will cause said blindness to progressively give way to sight. He knows that if you continue seeking Him in faith; faith will act as “sandpaper” that removes that which caused you not to see or feel in the first place.
Take this one to the proverbial bank:
Eventually you are going to begin to "see" with your spirit man as clearly as you do your natural eyes. In the same way it is impossible not to get bigger and stronger when you exercise…it is impossible for you not to develop the "eyes of your heart" as you begin even the most meager steps in faith. We have always had these “eyes” available. In the same way we always have potential within the muscle to strengthen and grow it through the right stimulus, He has perfectly designed that which will cause light to dawn in our souls and produce a “sight” that is infinitely more sharp than your natural eyes.
“Perception is genuine sight.”
When I am flying corporate jets even in the worse conditions…to the untrained eye…all that is seen on the instrument panel are pretty colors and gauges and numbers. Outside the airplane, to this untrained bystander, is a wind and turbulence shaking...rain pounding...scary world.
Yet to me…because I have “eyes to see” what is going on…those images and numbers tell me exactly what is going on around me and is as much “sight” as if I was looking out the window and through the clouds and rain and snow. Turbulence…lightening…the owners grandchildren that are freaking out…have no negative influence on me because I understand their "reality" is limited by a lack of not being able to “see” as I can.
In actuality, it is to their life saving benefit that I ignore them!
The fact that I can and have navigated safely through the most inclement weather for decades now…proves beyond a doubt that there is a real “invisible to the naked eye” world being evidenced by those instruments, and there are those…me included…that have no problem at all seeing what others cannot. Obviously, if that were not the case…me and my passengers, and thousands of others flying every day, would be dead long ago. There are verifiable proofs that I have this “sight” available and can operate within it at any time. And just because someone else cannot see and perceive these things, that does not mean at all their ignorance is factual reality.
I do not need to use my physical eyes to see outside that airplane because I have another pair of “eyes” that in that situation actually see much more clear than my natural ones!
"For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you." Isaiah 60:2 (underscore mine)
And this exact same principle of seeing and perceiving what others cannot, applies when dealing in the realm of the spirit. As the "light of the world" and the "salt of the earth", our generation is desperate for those with "sight" that can lead and guide through these perilous times!
You Think You’re So Smart
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” I Corinthians 1:18-19
‘Hear this now, O foolish people, Without understanding, Who have eyes and see not, And who have ears and hear not..." Jeremiah 5:21 (italics mine)
“Brilliant blind people are as blind as ignorant blind people.”
I’ll be honest. Go ahead. Parade in front of me the best of the best concerning anti God…anti miracle…anti anything, as far as the reality of the presence and influence of God in the affairs of men and angels.
Whether Dawkins…Hitchens…Harris…MacArthur…bring on their greatest arguments. To me, and everyone else that can “see”, they are all the same. Blind men…albeit geniuses and extremely well versed in their blindness…trying to convince the one who sees that blindness is better and is the only reality. This is the same as someone looking at the inclement weather outside and boldly declaring "You can't fly in that stuff!"
Does anyone remember the movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail? The famous “It’s only a flesh wound” scene? No matter how many limbs that guy lost…he just kept spouting off. Eventually the victorious knight just walks away shaking his head.
"But Jesus answered them, “YOU ARE WRONG, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God." Matthew 22:29 (emphasis mine)
Jesus could not have been more clear. Those He was addressing were wrong! And He told them why. They were ignorant of all the facts. In today's language He could have worded it something like:
"You are absolutely wrong and completely naive. You don't have a clue of what you are talking about!"
Whether the Pharisees...Nero...Academia in other disciplines...there will never be a shortage of those "spouting off", having no clue what they are talking about. If Jesus had to deal with this, so will we. The Lord expects us to grow to where we can simply walk away shaking our heads as He did, while the naive make their assertions.
So, as for me, and should be for you, using the previously discussed aviation illustration...
-the militant atheist (I added "militant" because not all atheists are trying to obstinately impose themselves and their convictions on others)
-the inexorable activist screaming their extreme policies and cultural deformity
-the theologian claiming “miracles passed away with the apostles”
...are the outside turbulence and rain and low visibility that to the informed, have no negative influence upon them at all. Those who have learned and been exercised in spiritual development, can “see” beyond just this world and will effortlessly navigate through the “noise”.
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
Jesus could not have been more clear. The Kingdom of Heaven can be seen. There is a prerequisite, but it can be seen. The kingdom of God exists and is real. As such, it has forms and substances and principles. Where the critics believe they have their argument, only makes plain how ignorant they actually are of ALL realities. Their contentions will be over words and histories and apparent contradictions to logic and science. Their logic and science.
Yet we must consider:
Ever heard the phrase "preaching to your own choir"? It means that what you say is agreed upon because everyone you are conversing with agrees with you. Those within the group use the same references and vocabulary. Here's the problem. Your "choir" can be a billion people strong...but if all billion people refuse to even consider another set of references...the conclusions by necessity will be incomplete at best, blatantly wrong at worst.
To be more specific. By ignoring the reality of the transcendent, which Jesus appealed to as the door through which you must enter if you're going to "see" anything..."you must be born again"...the critic limits both his ability and credibility to even make his argument! Why? Simply because he will not appeal to or even acknowledge all the facts!
I have been blessed to serve some very brilliant and prosperous people. Yet with what would appear as great success in this creation, they can be completely blind to another world...the technical word is "kingdom" i.e. "Kings domain"...that is as overwhelming to this natural one as I am over the bug I just stepped on and ground into the sidewalk. To their great detriment.
No doubt, I can hear some predictably say, “Well that’s just what you believe.” Nope! You have completely missed the point and need to read this article again if you said that.
“It’s not what I believe…it’s what I can clearly see!” Big difference.
In the same way having the ability to fly in bad weather is not something I simply "believe", this article is not about what I "believe" concerning the things of God. It is a report and hopefully an encouragement of two things. Both what I personally can see...as real as the type font I am using to write this article...and what has freely been made available to all peoples.
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32
The "Kingdom of God" and the realm of the spirit are meant to be literally seen and enjoyed by all His people. And He has given us clear instructions to develop our abilities to do just that.
His Kingdom is..."available to anyone...expected from everyone." And for all to be able to say...“I have seen…I see…and I will see.”
I Said All This to Say:
"...we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another." II Corinthians 3:18
Don’t get discouraged on your journey seeking God. Remember: journey...not event.
Have no worries during those times when trying to hear God is as fulfilling as drinking cracker juice. Just as one pushup turns into two and then five…seeking the One True Living God will go from shadow, to glimmer, to glory, and then to more glory...and we get to do this forever!
I have been serving God now almost forty years as of this writing. My personal experience is that one hundred percent of the time...yes, one hundred percent...I eventually had my encounter with the Lord over particular things. Each time resulted in more "sight".
Was I aggravated...yep. Was I frustrated...yep. Was I eventually satisfied...yep.
I have learned to be cautious concerning what words I use to describe difficult seasons. You become careful not to use the word "disappointment" when the actual word concerning the reality of the season is "discipline". Not discipline as in getting in trouble...but in the context of getting smarter through training.
Daniel LaRusso, the Karate Kid, was certainly "disappointed" while he thought the only thing being accomplished was Mr. Miyagi getting a new house and car. But the day came when he learned that what he previously was disappointed over, had developed in him the discipline to one day kick that dudes butt and be the champion.
Same in God.
It’s how it works and is the nature of the thing. He had it all figured out all the time. Like…all the time…before there was "time". Yeah…that long ago.
“Shocker…God gets it right!”
Now…go talk to God in the thin air…but make sure you bring your sunglasses!
Have a nice day.